2018 Broadband Communities Summit

Rural Broadband Track

Tuesday May 01

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

County-Level Economic Development: A Key to Rural Broadband Progress
New policies are coming online from the Trump administration that seek to increase rural broadband deployment by making use of federally owned dark fiber. Counties, too, are streamlining and facilitating access to local government resources by licensing existing dark fiber networks. This session explores how these new dynamics affect county-level economic development.

4:10 pm -5:00 pm

What digiLEARN in School Today?
Learn about an exciting initiative that relies on connecting schools to high speed broadband to use teachers as digital scholars, totally disrupting the old classroom model. You’ll get a show and tell from digiLEARN leaders on how this non-profit dedicated to accelerating digital learning has created a new model that provides for the educational advancement of each and every student in the classroom. And, yes, raising your hand and asking questions is encouraged.


Wednesday May 02

8:00 am -8:50 am

Case Studies: How Economic Growth Is the Payoff for Driving Local Broadband Demand
This session takes a careful look at two communities that are using their fiber-optic networks to accelerate growth. Pangaea Internet has attracted new companies to the rural communities and counties it serves in Western North Carolina, thanks to offering reliable interest service at virtually unlimited speeds and a very affordable cost. When asked, 98% of customers agreed Pangaea has a positive impact on the community. In Highland, Ill., the city is currently assessing data on demand and impact to redesign its fiber network’s business and operating plan. The goals: Drive uptake of higher value services by local businesses to drive economic growth and more quickly achieve network sustainability.

Jane Patterson
-- President, Jane Patterson & Associates
Michael Curri-- Founder and President, Strategic Networks Group, Inc.

9:00 am – 9:50 am

Robust Rural Broadband: How to Get It… and How to Watch Your Bottom Line
They’ve been there, done that. Hear from two rural broadband experts who understand better than most all the costs and challenges involved in bringing fiber broadband to rural America. They’re helping provide voice, internet and video to more than 8,000 customers in one of the most rural and remote areas in northwestern Wisconsin – approximately 4 people per square mile – including bringing them 1Gb capabilities. They’ll discuss various business models and bring to light some costs that providers with little or no experience may not even be aware of. Bottom line: They’ll be upfront about the costs… and the benefits.

Leo Carlson – Director of Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, and IT, Norvado
Mike Teeples– Vice-President, Partner, TCA

10:00 am – 10:50 am

Healthcare: Broadband-Enabled Transformation
Rural communities across the country are struggling to survive. In most, more than 25% of the population is over 65, requiring additional health services and support amid the growing lack of healthcare providers in rural areas. University of Wisconsin – Extension has created a replicable framework that communities can use to marry broadband technology with their seniors’ needs. The presenters will draw on real-world cases, emphasizing how the technologies fit together and how they impact workforce requirements.

Maria Alvarez Stroud
– Founder & Past Director Broadband & E-Commerce Education Center, University of Wisconsin Extension; Consultant to Connected Aging Communities Endeavor

Leo Carlson
- Director of Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, and IT, Norvado
Gail Huycke - Connected Aging Communities Director, BEEC - University of Wisconsin Extension
Chris Meyer - Director of Virtual Care, Marshfield Clinic


Thursday May 03

8:00 am – 9:00 am

Grass-Roots Blue Ribbon Panel: Rural Megatrends in 2018 and Beyond
Everything from AI and major workforce disruptions to smartphone addiction and overuse of social media, rural lifestyle is in the crosshairs. Our blue-ribbon panel of rural experts, passionately committed to the belief that rural America cannot be left behind, looks at the megatrends that bode well… or not… for a brighter future.

9:10 am – 10:00 am

ABC’s of Funding
Joint Track with the Economic Development Track
USF, RUS, CAF, FCC, E-Rate – It’s an alphabet soup of sources when you’re looking for funding for your broadband network. And that’s not even counting the municipal finance sector. Join this show me the money discussion: where to find it, how to access it, what sources are best for you, presented jointly by the Rural Broadband and Economic Development Tracks.

Tim Herwig
  – District Community Affairs Officer, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

10:10 am – 11:00 am

Serving Our Most Vulnerable Populations
Joint Track with the Economic Development Track
Good broadband has increasingly become a necessity of modern life, but America has yet to meet the challenge of serving our most vulnerable populations well. How and where are we falling short? What more needs to be done? This session explores these questions, focusing on the needs of older adults, Native Americans, Americans with disabilities and lower-income individuals and families.

Tim Will
– Principal, Catalpa
Nicol Turner-Lee, Ph.D. – Fellow, Governance Studies, Center for Technology Innovation Brookings Institution

11:10 am – 12:00 pm

Power Play: Co-ops Step Up
Joint Track with the Economic Development Track
There’s a surge in co-ops stepping up to the plate in areas where the usual Wall Street-driven business case for broadband deployment is less than optimal. It’s both an economic and rural issue, and our Rural Broadband and Economic Development tracks have joined forces to highlight co-ops that have used broadband deployments to serve their communities.






























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